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Microsoft's Long Game
#1
Thanks for your video : Is Running Linux on Windows Bad for Linux? I think you've missed Microsoft's Long Game strategy with Linux.

I remember a world in which PCs were based on Intel chips, and Macs were based on PowerPC chips. People said, at the time, that Apple would never, ever abandon the PowerPC. It would be necessary to recompile everything. Then, one day in 2005, Steve Jobs took to the stage. About 4 minutes into his talk, he revealed that OS X had been leading a double life, already secretly running on Intel for a "Just in Case" scenario. Every release of OS X had been compiled for Intel for the past five years. 

All major manufacturers have such moonshots and secret projects "just in case" they have to shift strategy. When you're worth billions, it's a good insurance policy to know the answer to such questions as "how can we dump this shitty Windows kernel?" I bet there is some lab where Microsoft Office is running directly on Linux right now.

The Windows Linux subsystem is just the visible tip of a massive iceberg. It prepares the way for a generation of SysAdmins and programmers who can make the transition possible. Lunduke agreesJoe Collins comments that Windows is no longer a top priority.

Despite this shift, I don't think Microsoft would allow the Windows UI to be interchangeable with, say, Gnome or Cinammon. They will carefully design deep features to ensure that the new Windows will require their "special sauce" to keep the enterprise customer base trapped through compatibility problems. 

Will they actually do all this? I think they're almost there, and I predict the announcement within two years. But will the strategy succeed? Will the new "powered by Linux" Windows be a winner? That's where I believe Microsoft cannot transcend its true self. The new Windows will end up repeating all the proprietary problems they have right now. Because they were never genuine problems. They were marketing tricks.

Microsoft will succeed at one thing. They will reduce or eliminate the cost of maintaining the Windows kernel. And maybe that is enough for Redmond. With their eyes on the Cloud, and a talented Open Source community supporting them at little to no cost, it's almost a no-brainer.

That leaves the question of Windows 10. Why is it such a mess, why is there so much emphasis on sending data back to Redmond, and why does it keep changing so much? I think the simple answer is Chromebooks. Windows 10 was probably conceived as a shift to direct competition with Google. 

The true self of Microsoft is not visionary or technically-driven. It originated in a set of requirements from IBM, which originated from Xerox. Microsoft's entire history has consisted of chasing down one after another competitor, then choking them in the dust.

The tiger cannot change its stripes. It's a predator, and a carnivore.

MalcolmD
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#2
(06-17-2020, 09:34 PM), MalcolmD Wrote: Microsoft will succeed at one thing. They will reduce or eliminate the cost of maintaining the Windows kernel. And maybe that is enough for Redmond. With their eyes on the Cloud, and a talented Open Source community supporting them at little to no cost, it's almost a no-brainer.

I think you're right about the Windows OS. Some people think Microsoft will never transition from Windows to Linux because "Linux is open source and any changes to it have to be opensource too." But that isn't true. There is nothing in any GPL that prohibits running proprietary software or proprietary OS extensions on top of Linux, Ubuntu, Debian, etc. That's why we're able to use proprietary drivers without violating the Linux and Ubuntu GPLs.

So I think Microsoft will eventually transition to using an opensource Linux version with a proprietary WINE-type program running on top of it as the UI/DE, and you won't be able to run any Microsoft software or Windows-Compatible software without paying Microsoft for that UI/DE.

More insidious, they could add or change things in the Linux part of their special "Microsoft Linux" to make their proprietary Windows UI/DE integrate better with it, and then dutifully release those changes as opensource. I'm talking about the equivalent of creating a gadget that requires a bizarrely unique electrical plug and making that plug design public domain because the plug is useless without your proprietary gadget.

Or I could be wrong and Microsoft really will put all their effort into moving everything into the cloud (SAS) so that they can charge everyone a monthly fee instead of just coercing you into buying the newest version of their OS and Office software every few years when you buy a new computer.

Either way, Microsoft will always be Microsoft and industry domination will always be their prime motivation.
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